Posts Tagged ‘BRM P261’

(P Newbold)

Jackie Stewart eases his BRM P261 chassis ‘2614’ into the Sandown Paddock after practice…

It wasn’t going to be a great day at the office for the plucky Scot. He started well, passing Jack Brabham on lap 9 for the lead but the crown wheel and pinion gave up the ghost on lap 11 of the race won by Jim Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax V8.

I think the car behind Jackie is Denny Hulme’s Brabham BT22 Repco-  right of picture behind the attractive chick with white ‘flairs’, eagle eyed Holden fanciers will spot Repco’s HR Panel Van, one of two which carted the two team cars of Jack and Denny around the country that summer.

(P Newbold)

Clark ponders changes to ‘R14’ a chassis which was very kind to him in Australasia that summer- he won five of the eight rounds and took the Tasman Cup for the second time.

The chassis went back to Hethel with Jim, he raced it in the early F1 races of 1967- for the last time at Monaco before the race debut of the epochal Lotus 49 Ford DFV at Zandvoort on June 4.

https://primotipo.com/2014/09/28/jim-clark-lotus-33-climax-monaco-gp-1967-out-with-the-old/

(M Feisst)

Stewart was the reigning Tasman champion, the ex-F1 BRM P261 still had the speed to win the Tasman, but, stretched to 2.1 litres, the V8 put out that little bit of extra power and torque which stretched the transmission beyond its comfy limits. The cars Achilles Heel caused too many retirements that summer but the other Great Scot took two wins on the tour all the same. Click here for an article on this engine and series of cars; https://primotipo.com/2016/02/05/motori-porno-stackpipe-brm-v8/

JYS with Light Car Club of Australia, the lessee/promoters of Sandown,  President Arnold Terdich- Arnold is the son of 1929 AGP winner Arthur Terdich, he won in a Bugatti T37A (P Newbold)

 

Stewart’s BRM P261 ‘2614’- jewels of long-lasting racing cars. Amongst the greatest of 1.5 litre F1 cars, then ‘gap fillers’ as the outrageous 3 litre P83 H16 was developed in 1966/7 and formidable Tasman cars fitted with 1.9 litre and finally 2.1 litre P111 BRM V8’s- the gearbox was not designed with so much power and torque in mind… (M Feisst)

Jack suits up below for the off with the omnipresent Roy Billington in attendance. I wonder when his time with Jack started and finished?

One of the things all these shots have in common is the very casual nature of racing at the time. The current World Champ is there for all to see and say ‘gedday mate and good luck!’

In fact he didn’t have good luck at all- he was out with ignition dramas having completed 27 of the races 52 laps with Denny retiring a lap earlier due to selector failure in the Hewland ‘box- not a happy home weekend for Repco at all!

It wasn’t that simple though, the weekend proved a long one for the Brabham and Repco boys.

In 1967 the tyre-war was on in earnest with Dunlop, Firestone and Goodyear vying for honours. Jack’s car was fitted with some wider 15 inch wheels made by Elfin (or perhaps more accurately Elfin wheels cast by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation) to take the latest, wider Goodyears. To do so, changes were needed to the rear suspension.

(F Nachtigal)

Jack did the quickest time on Friday and then the Repco lads popped in a fresh motor overnight- he then set pole on Saturday from Stewart and Hulme.

On Sunday Jack won the 10 lap preliminary from Stewart at a canter but as the BT23A crossed the line the Repco engines timing gear broke. With that, the crew set about another motor change in the limited time available, popping another RBE ‘640 Series’ 2.5 litre V8 into the svelte Ron Tauranac designed spaceframe chassis.

Jack and Jim both made ripper starts but Clark’s 2 litre Lotus was soon overhauled by Hulme’s 2.5 litre Brabham and Stewart’s 2.1 litre BRM. Brabham and Stewart then tussled before Jackie passed Jack- who then retired a lap later near Dandenong Road. It transpired that a soldered ignition wire pickup had come off the flywheel- repaired later, Jack re-entered the race completing 27 of its 52 laps.

1967 Tasman Series…

https://primotipo.com/2014/11/24/1967-hulme-stewart-and-clark-levin-new-zealand-tasman-and-beyond/

http://www.oldracingcars.com/tasman/1967/

Etcetera: Sandown…

Here are a few more photographs from that meeting- Peter Newbold was patrolling the paddock and so too was Mike Feisst who visited the Warwick Farm and Sandown Tasman rounds whilst on a trip over from New Zealand.

Between them, their pit shots capture the flavour of the times in a manner which on-circuit stuff on its own never entirely does.

As you will see, the entry for that meeting was truly mouth-watering in its variety and depth!

RBE 640 V8- the 1966 ‘600 Series’ Olds F85 block and new for 1967 ’40 Series’ exhaust between the Vee heads. Gearbox is a Hewland HD5 (M Feisst)

Brabham’s BT23A Repco awaits Jack and Roy Billington.

Despite passing into David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce after Jack had finished with it, this car probably under-achieved really.

Greg Cusack and Phil West raced it for David but by then the mantle of local aces had shifted from the retired Bib Stillwell to Spencer Martin, Kevin Bartlett and Leo Geoghegan. Put any of those fellas in BT23A at that time and a championship could have been won assuming a measure of Repco 2.5 litre reliability, a quality not necessarily plentiful…

https://primotipo.com/2017/01/04/scuds/

(M Feisst)

 

Bob Jane had only just taken deliver of his Elfin 400 Repco ‘620’ 4.4 litre V8 from Garrie Cooper and his merry band of Edwardstown artisans- the 1967 Tasman round support races were his first serious events in a car which had a rather chequered and tragic history, click here for the story; https://primotipo.com/2018/04/06/belle-of-the-ball/

(M Feisst)

The Touring Car entry was ‘top shelf’ as well and led by crowd favourites from Melbourne, Norm Beechey above in his Chevy Nova and Sydney’s Pete Geoghegan below- the latter still racing the first of his two Mustangs.

Who won the battles on that weekend folks?

(M Feisst)

Pete’s ‘Stang is lining up for scrutineering, by the time I started racing a decade and a bit later the concrete pad was still in the same spot albeit there was a permanent roof providing the poor marshalls with some necessary protection from the elements.

That paddock was ‘heaven on a stick’ from a spectators viewpoint- so much was compressed into a small space but it was a pain in the tit as a competitor, it was as tight as a mackerel’s bum with a halfway decent entry list of cars. When things got too tight we Formula Vees were banished to an area of our own on the outside of Shell Corner (turn 1) which made us all grumpy at the time! And yer could no longer easily see all the other goings on.

Geoghegan’s Mustang in 1967; https://primotipo.com/2017/10/17/he-came-he-saw-he-conquered/

(M Feisst)

Leo Geoghegan bought the ex-works Lotus 39 Climax Jim Clark raced throughout the 1966 Tasman at the duration of the series racing it during the 1967 Gold Star Series without much success due to recurring engine dramas.

Having said that the car behaved itself rather well on this weekend as Leo finished second in the race to Clark albeit he was 50 seconds back- this was the highest place finish by any local driver throughout the series.

It was not the last time Geoghegan gave the internationals a run for their money in this car either. Leo passed Frank Gardner in the latter stages of the race and was then lucky when Martin’s BT11A Brabham gifted Leo second with half-shaft failure.

Frank Gardner was third in Alec Mildren’s Brabham BT16 Climax FPF- an F2 chassis with a big-beefy FPF popped into the frame, Chris Irwin was fourth in the other 2.1 litre BRM chassis ‘2616’, then Kevin Bartlett, in Mildren’s other car, the ex-Gardner Brabham BT11A Climax which KB drove so hard and well in 1966/7. Then came John Harvey, three laps adrift of KB in Ron Phillips’ Brabham BT14 F2 car powered by a big 1860 cc Lotus-Ford twin-cam.

Leo contested the 1967 Australian Tasman rounds with the Climax fitted and then gave the car ‘a birthday’- John Sheppard and the Geoghegan lads adapted the chassis to take a Repco ‘740’ 2.5 litre V8, this created one of the sexiest ever open-wheelers to race in Oz, whilst the car was uber fast reliability remained an ongoing issue. The story of this machine is here; https://primotipo.com/2016/02/12/jim-clark-and-leo-geoghegans-lotus-39/

(M Feisst)

Peter Mabey eases himself out of Frank Matich’s brand-new and sinfully good-looking Matich SR3 Oldsmobile V8.

Later that year FM raced two of these chassis, Repco ‘620’ 4.4 litre V8 engined, in the Can-Am Series, the SR3 story is tangentially told in this piece on its successor, the SR4 Repco; https://primotipo.com/2016/07/15/matich-sr4-repco-by-nigel-tait-and-mark-bisset/

(M Feisst)

Gay Cesario brings a little bit of Italo-French style to the Sandown pits with his Abarth Simca 1300 GT.

The speedy Italian acquired the car in his native country and then drove it from one end of Italy to the other, both car and family migrating to Australia in the mid-sixties. Click here for the story; https://primotipo.com/2018/02/13/abarth-simca-1300-gt/

(M Feisst)

The two BRM P261’s of Stewart- ‘2614’, on the truck and Chris Irwin ‘2616’ on terra-firma. Nifty looking and aerodynamic full rear bodywork atypical by then.

Engines of the cars are to different specifications, Jackie’s is fitted with an exhaust within the vee motor and Irwin’s the more classic cross-flow set up with the former ‘de-rigueur’ in F1 in 1967- Ferrari, Repco-Brabham, Honda and BRM produced engines of that specification. That Stewart’s car is fitted with the exhaust within the vee arrangement tends to suggest it was the quicker at the time. Irwin’s car is about to be scrutineered.

One of the P261’s raced at the Phillip Island Historic Meeting not so many years ago driven by Rob Fowler, I think- man what a car at bulk-revs singing its way down the main straight and into Southern Loop- and well driven. Personal bias hereby declared.

(M Feisst)

I suspect Mike Feisst had a ‘heads up’ as to the garages in Melbourne where some of the Tasman cars were being fettled over the weekend- for sure this shot is not at Sandown Park.

The Aston DB4 GT Zagato has Victorian plates, I wonder which of the two (?) which came to Australia in period it is. It looks well used which is rather nice. Laurie O’Neill had one which Doug Whiteford and Pete Geoghegan gave a bit of a gallop, but wasn’t there another too? Intrigued to know which chassis this is and whereabouts the shot is taken. Check out this article on the cars; https://primotipo.com/2015/09/22/aston-martin-db4gt-zagato-2vev-lex-davison-and-bib-stillwell/

Flinders Street Station maybe for the photograph below, in Flinders Street itself down towards the ‘Banana Alley’ vaults?

The Holden FC aft of the Aston DB4 GT provides valuable context- I reckon yerv always got to see the exotica of the period juxtaposed with the transport we plebians used at the same time to see just how marvellous they were. My mums new Morrie 1100 was plated JEN-108 in 1965, so I’m thinking this Aston is perhaps a 1966 drop, James Bond plate duly noted?

(M Feisst)

 

(M Feisst)

Their was a bit of chatter online about this chassis being Graeme Lawrence’s McLaren M4A Ford FVA but I reckon Mike Feisst’s photo is also at Sandown and the car is an Elfin Mono- an outboard suspension second series car.

Two such were entered in the Sandown Park Cup by Ian Cook (7th) and Jack Hunnam (DNF) with Hunnam’s Mk2D the most likely choice I think. Having said that my friend, and Mono racer/restorer James Lambert will correct me if I have goofed! The engine is a 1.5 litre Lotus-Ford twin-cam, these very quick machines ran in the ANF1.5 category- effectively Australia’s F2 at the time.

(M Feisst)

Motor Racing Royalty in Australia in the mid-sixties was David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce Ferrari 250LM.

It was always, even in 1965 when it first arrived new from Maranello, a bit heavy to beat the sprinters but the car won three Surfers Paradise Enduro’s on the trot and was steered by some great drivers including McKay himself, Jackie Stewart, Spencer Martin and the brothers Geoghegan.

(M Feisst)

I’ve written about this wonderful machine, now owned by Ralph Lauren (what a waste of a RACING car) at length too;

https://primotipo.com/2014/07/03/pete-geoghegan-ferrari-250lm-6321-bathurst-easter-68/

I think Kiwi Andy Buchnan was racing, and owned the car at this stage in 1967?

(M Feisst)

Hillman had a great reputation in Australia at the time the ‘Grunter’ was popular aided and abetted by its 1968 London-Sydney Marathon win. The ‘Coventry Climax’ engine inspired Imp I always thought was a thinking mans alternative to the Mini- as ubiquitous in Australia as anywhere else on the planet.

The ‘works’ Improved Production Imps were raced (and built?) by Melbourne’s Graham ‘Tubby’ Ritter and youthful man-about-town Peter Janson. Norm Beechey had an occasional steer of these things as well- on this weekend the cars were raced by Ritter and Bruce Hindhaugh in car #22- the latter of Gown-Hindhaugh Engines in Elgar Road, Box Hill.

(M Feisst)

Alec Mildren added the teams second Alfa Romeo GTA to the trailer of cars sent from Sydney to Melbourne- both Kevin Bartlett and Gardner raced the car with FG twiddling the wheel that weekend.

Another favourite car, I wrote an article about these rather special Autodelta built ‘105 Coupes’ a while back, it is a tome about Alec Mildren Racing and Bartlett too; https://primotipo.com/2014/11/27/the-master-of-opposite-lock-kevin-bartlett-alfa-romeo-gta/

Love the Ford ‘Cusso’ towcar behind (M Feisst)

No doubt those wheels are very light but there is something very ‘povvo’ about that aspect of a Porsche 906 at least visually?

Alan Hamilton would have been outgunned that weekend aboard the first of his 906’s with the Matich, Jane and Niel Allen (Elfin 400 Olds) big vee-eights present but this car always punched above its weight and was driven exceedingly well by the gifted son of Porsche importer Norman Hamilton. Click here for a feature on Hamilton and his cars;

https://primotipo.com/2015/08/20/alan-hamilton-his-porsche-9048-and-two-906s/

(M Feisst)

The Morris Cooper S was a mainstay of Touring Car Racing globally at the time of course, not least in Australia where Mini Kings included Peter Manton and Brian Foley- others who spring to mind include Don Holland and John Leffler- Leffo starting a career in the BMC products which all the way through to winning a Gold Star, the Australian Drivers Championship in an F5000 Lola T400 Chev in 1977.

This car is Jim Smith’s- later the owner/racer of the crowd pleasing, ex-works Rover 3500 Repco Holden V8.

In the background you can see the nose of Hamilton’s Porsche 906 sneaking past (M Feisst)

Seeing Leo Peter Woodwards’s ex-Geoghegan/Niel Allen Lotus 26R reminds me I’ve written a track test of me mate David Mottram’s Lotus Elite Super 95, I must pop it up.

Whilst most folks wax lyrical about the Elite as one of the best looking cars ever, I agree, for me the slightly more butch Elan 26R is a contender albeit not strictly a road car of course. See this short article about the car here; https://primotipo.com/2018/04/15/perk-and-pert/

Peter Woodward later won the Australian Sportscar Championship in the one-off Elfin 350 Coventry Climax FPF. He ‘nicked’ the championship in 1970 taking points in two of the three rounds from Frank Matich who did not race the awesome SR4 all season and Niel Allen in the 5 litre Chev F5000 engined Elfin ME5.

What became of this 26R after Peter Woodward finished with it?- to John Fraser in Queensland, but perhaps some of you can fill in the gaps. Is the car still in Australia?

Credits…

Paul Newbold, Mike Feisst on The Roaring Season, Frank Nachtigal, oldracingcars.com, sergent.com, Terry Sullivan, Dale Harvey, Rob Bartholomaeus

Tailpiece: All Eyes on Australia’s Finest…

Which is as it should be of course!

Jack steers BT23A-1 through the gravel Sandown paddock towards the grassy Esso compound only a few more steps away. He wore that gold ‘Buco’ (i think) helmet a lot in 1967! It may be summer in Australia but by the look of the adoring kiddos its a chilly Melbourne day.

Photos of this place bring back many happy memories of roaming the Sandown paddock just like these youngsters, although i was never as nicely dressed as the brothers in yellow and wearing a tie!

Finito…

lotus spa

(unattributed)

Team Lotus in the Spa pitlane, Saturday June 12 1965: the 33’s of #17 Jim Clark, Mike Spence and the teams spare chassis…

Sunday was wet, Jimmy ran away with the race from grid #2, Mike was 7th from grid 12. Graham Hill started from pole in his BRM P261 but finished 4th, Jackie Stewart was 2nd in the other BRM and Bruce McLaren 3rd in a Cooper T77 Climax.

spa start

Lap 1 and Graham Hill’s BRM P261 leads into Eau Rouge from pole. You can just see the white peak of Clark’s helmet and his Lotus 33’s left rear wheel right up Hills clacker. Stewart’s sister BRM follows then Ginther’s white Honda RA272, Siffert’s Rob Walker Brabham BT11 Climax, Surtees Ferrari 158 on the outside, Gurney’s Brabham BT11 Climax, McLarens Cooper T77 Climax and the rest…(unattributed)

spa clark

Daunting in the dry positively frightening in the wet. Spa. Clark speeds to victory, he took the ’65 drivers title in his Lotus 33 Climax (unattributed)

Tailpiece: Alone in the Ardennes Forest, Jack Brabham…

brabham spa

Brabham, La Source hairpin, Spa 1965- 4th in his Brabham BT11 Climax (unattributed)

 

 

(Mr Reithmaier)

I love the build up and tension before the start of a big race; here it’s the grid prior to the start of the New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe, in the north of NZ’s North Island on 6 January 1968…

Chris Amon readies himself and his Ferrari Dino 246T before the first round of the 1968 Tasman Series, a race in which he wonderfully and deservedly triumphed. Missing on the front row is Jim Clark’s Lotus 49T Ford DFW. Car #2 is Pedro Rodriguez’ BRM P261, the Mexican is bent over the cockpit of his car but failed to finish with clutch problems. Car #7 is Alec Mildren’s Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo T33 2.5 V8 with chief mechanic Glenn Abbey warming up the one-off car. Lanky Franky Gardner is adjusting his helmet beside the car, it was a good day for Frank, the car was second.

Look closely and you can see a camera crew behind the Brabham which is focusing on 1967 reigning world champion Denny Hulme and his #3 Brabham BT23 Ford FVA F2 car- Denny’s head is obscured by Frank’s body. Hume boofed the ex-Rindt BT23 during the race badly enough for a replacement chassis to be shipped out from the UK.

I’ve always thought these F2/Tasman Ferrari’s amongst the sexiest of sixties single-seaters. The 166 F2 car was not especially successful amongst the hordes of Ford Cosworth Ford FVA engined cars in Euro F2 racing. However, the car formed the basis of a very competitive Tasman 2.5 litre Formula car when fitted with updated variants of the Vittorio Jano designed V6 which first raced in F2 form and then owered the late fifties Grand Prix racing front-engined Ferrari Dino 246. It was in one of these cars that Mike Hawthorn won the 1958 World Drivers Championship.

Amon won the Tasman Series in 1969 with Ferrari Dino 246T chassis #0008 with fellow Kiwi Champion Graeme Lawrence winning in the same car in 1970 against vastly more powerful, if far less developed Formula 5000 cars. The story of those championships is for another time, this article is about Chris’ 1968 Tasman mount and campaign.

Amon hooking his gorgeous Ferrari Dino 246T ‘0004’ into The Viaduct in the dry at Longford 1968. Early ’68, we are in the immediate pre-wing era, and don’t the cars look all the better for it! (oldracephotos.com/D Keep)

In many ways Chris was stiff not to win the ’68 Tasman, a title, the last, won by the late, great Jim Clark…

Ferrari entered only one car that year with chassis #0004 assembled in Maranello by longtime Amon personal mechanic Roger Bailey and tested at Modena in November 1967. It was then freighted by plane to New Zealand where it was assembled by Bruce Wilson in his Hunterville workshop in the south of the North Island.

The cars chassis was Ferrari’s period typical ‘aero monocoque’, a ‘scaled down’ version of the contemporary F1 Ferrari with aluminium sheet riveted to a tubular steel frame forming a very stiff structure. The 166 was launched to the adoring Italian public at the Turin Motor Show in February 1967.

In F2 form the 1596cc, quad cam, chain driven, 18 valve, Lucas injected engine developed circa 200bhp at an ear-splitting 10000 rpm. It is important to note that this F2 engine, designed by Franco Rocchi, and in production form powering the Fiat Dino, Ferrari Dino 206 and 246GT and Lancia Stratos is a different engine family to the Jano designed engines, evolved by Rocchi, used on the Tasman Dino’s.

The F2 166 made its race debut in Jonathon Williams hands at Rouen in July 1967, and whilst it handled and braked well it was around 15bhp down on the Cosworth engined opposition. Whilst the car was tested extensively at Modena, including 24 valve variants, it was not raced again that year.

Amon, who had not raced in the Tasman Series since 1964, could immediately see the potential of the car, suitably re-engined, as a Tasman contender given the success of the small, ex-F1 BRM P261 1.9-2.1 litre V8’s in the 1966 and 1967 Tasman Series. The same approach which worked for the boys from Bourne could also work in Maranello Chris figured. A parts-bin special is way too crass, but you get my drift of a very clever amalgam of existing, proven hardware as a potential winning car.

In fact Ferrari went down this path in 1965 when a Tasman hybrid of a then current F1 chassis was married to a 2417cc variant of the Jano 65 degree V6 for John Surtees to race in the 1966 Tasman. John had Tasman experience in Coventry Climax FPF engined Coopers and Lola’s at the dawn of the sixties and could see the potential of a small Ferrari.

That plan come to nothing when Surtees was very badly injured in a Mosport Can Am accident in his self run Lola T70 Chev in late 1965. This car, Ferrari Aero chassis ‘0006’ played the valuable role of proving Surtees rehabilitation when he completed 50 laps in the car at Modena. It was in the same chassis that Lorenzo Bandini finished 2nd in the 1966 Syracuse and Monaco GP’s as Ferrari sought to get the new 3 litre V12 F1 312 up to speed, Bandini electing to race the Dino on both occasions. He also finished 3rd aboard the car at Spa. The allocation of this more competitive car to Bandini rather than team-leader Surtees was amongst the many issues which lead to the confrontation between John Surtees and team manager Eugenio Dragoni during Le Mans practice and Surtees departure from the team.

An unidentified fellow, Jim Clark, Ferrari engineer Gianni Marelli, Chris Amon and Roger Bailey share a joke during the 1968 Longford weekend. Chassis ‘0004’ is fitted with the 24 valve V6 covered in the text. Note the quality of castings, fabrication and finish, inboard discs, sliding spline driveshafts and single plug heads of this very powerful- but less than entirely reliable engine in 1968 form, it’s shortcoming cylinder head seals (oldracephotos.com/Harrison)

The engine of the 166/246T was carried in a tubular subframe attached to the rear of the monocoque which terminated at the drivers bulkhead. The car was fitted with a 5 speed transaxle designed by Ingenere Salvarani and Girling disc brakes.

Suspension was also similar to the contemporary F1 cars in having an front upper rocker and lower wishbone with inboard mounted spring/shocks and conventional outboard suspension at the rear- single top link, inverted lower wishbone, two radius rods and coil spring/shocks.

For the 1968 NZ races- Chris won at Pukekohe after Clark retired and at Levin, leading from flag to flag, was 2nd to Clark at Wigram and 4th at Teretonga- a 3 valve variant (2 inlet, 1 exhaust) of the 65 degree fuel injected V6 was fitted which was said to develop around 285bhp @ 8900rpm from its 2404cc.

Chris crossed the Tasman Sea with a 9 point lead in the Series from Clark and the might of Team Lotus. It was a wonderful effort, whilst Ferrari provided the car free of charge, and took a share of the prize money, the logistics were of Chris’ own small equipe. And here they were serving it up to Gold Leaf Team Lotus with a couple of World Champions on the strength, plenty of spares and support crew.

For the four Australian races a 24 valve version of the engine was shipped from Maranello. Its Lucas injection was located between the engines Vee rather than between the camshafts and had one, rather than two plugs per cylinder. This engine developed 20 bhp more than the 18 valver with Chris promptly putting the car on pole at Surfers Paradise, a power circuit. He won the preliminary race and had a head seal fail whilst challenging Clark in the championship race.

At Warwick Farm he qualified with the 18 valve engine and raced the 24 valver having rebuilt it- they only had one of the motors. He was challenging both Clark and Hill in the race and then spun in avoidance of Hill who was having his own moment…he was 4th on the tight technical Sydney circuit.

At Sandown during the AGP, the pace of the car, and Amon, was proved in an absolute thriller of a race in which he finished 2nd to Clark- let’s not forget the best driver in the world driving the best F1 car of the era powered by the Tasman variant of the greatest GP engine ever- and took fastest lap.

As the team crossed Bass Straight from Port Melbourne on the ‘Princess of Tasmania’ Chris knew he had to win the Longford ‘South Pacific Championship’, with Clark finishing no better than 5th to win the Tasman title.

At Longford, still fitted with the 24 valve engine, which must have been getting a little tired, he qualified a second adrift of Clark and Hill. He finished 7th in a race run in atrocious conditions on the most unforgiving of Australian circuits having initially run 2nd to Clark but then went up the Newry Corner escape road and suffered ignition problems from lap 10.

Piers Courage won in an heroic drive aboard his little McLaren M4A Ford FVA F2 car that streaming day, in a series which re-ignited his career.

Chris was a busy boy during the Australian Tasman leg as he also drove David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce Ferrari 350 CanAm/P4 in sports car support events at each round in addition to the little Dino.

These races were outstanding as they all involved close dices between Chris and Frank Matich in his self designed and built Matich SR3 powered by 4.4 litre Repco Brabham ‘RB740’ V8’s- with Frank getting the better of him in each of these races. The speed of the Matich was no surprise to Chris though, both had contested rounds of the Can Am Championship only months before the Tasman in the US.

Click here for my article on the Ferrari P4/CanAm 350 #’0858’ Chris raced in Australia;

https://primotipo.com/2015/04/02/ferrari-p4canam-350-0858/

Amon lines David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce Ferrari P4/350 Can Am up for Longford’s The Viaduct during the 1968 Longford Tasman meeting. Matich didn’t take the SR4 to Longford so Chris had an easy time of it that weekend. The sight and sound of that car at full song on the Flying Mile at circa 180mph would have been really something! (oldracephotos.com/D Keep)

For the ’69 Tasman Chris applied all he learned in 1968 returning with two cars, the other driven by Derek Bell, four well developed 300bhp 24 valve engines with the logistics taken care of by David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce.

He promptly lifted the Tasman Cup in a very successful campaign from Jochen Rindt, Graham Hill and others. With a little more luck, or greater factory commitment in 1968 it may have been two Tasman’s on the trot for the Maranello team and Chris…

Bibliography…

oldracingcars.com, sergent.com.au, ‘Dino: The Little Ferrari’ Doug Nye

Photo Credits…

Mr Riethmaier, oldracephotos.com, Rod MacKenzie

Tailpiece: Love this moody, foreboding Longford shot by Roderick MacKenzie. Chris has just entered the long ‘Flying Mile’ in the streaming wet conditions during Monday’s ‘South Pacific Trophy’ famously won by Piers Courage little McLaren M4 Ford FVA F2 car. 4 March 1968…

(Rod MacKenzie)

 

 

richie

(Schlegelmilch)

One of the BRM mechanics shows his mates some naughty pictures on his iPhone 6S, Zandvoort, Dutch Grand Prix July 1965…

The shot says everything about the regard the BRM team had for their old driver. By that stage Richie was driving for Honda, famously the American won the very last race of the 1.5 litre F1 for Honda in Mexico City that year.

image

Stewart #12 and Hill #10 BRM P261’s in the 1965 Zandvoort paddock (Schlegelmilch)

At Zandvoort the growing competitiveness of the RA272 was again on display, Richie qualified the car 3rd and finished 6th, the race won by Jim Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax.

The BRM’s finished 2nd and 4th, Stewart in front of Hill, both in P261’s. Dan Gurney was 3rd in a Brabham BT3 Climax.

Checkout my article on the early Honda GP cars;

https://primotipo.com/2014/12/12/honda-ra271272-1-5-litre-v12-19645-gp-cars/

Credits…

Rainer Schlegelmilch

Tailpiece: Richie Ginther’s Honda RA272 during the Dutch GP , 18 July 1965, Rainer has captured such an unusual view of the North Sea circuit…

image

(Schlegelmilch)

 

 

fferrari pit 1966 monaco

(Jesse Alexander Archive)

John Surtees ‘P3’ at this point but his Ferrari gearbox failed in the race won by Stewart’s BRM P261…

surtees and stewart monaco 1966

(David Phipps)

Surtees in his big Ferrari 312, a new F1 car built to the 3 litre formula introduced that year leads Jackie Stewart in his light, nimble BRM P261, a 1.5 litre F1 car bored to around 2.1 litres and shortly to be victorious over ‘Big Johns’ heavy and not so powerful Ferrari.

It may have been different if he had driven the light, nimble Ferrari Dino 246 allocated to teammate Bandini, but that was not to be and so the pressures mounted which lead to Surtees departure from the Scuderia shortly thereafter. And with it any chance Ferrari had of winning the title that year. Brabhams year of course.

https://primotipo.com/2014/11/13/winning-the-1966-world-f1-championships-rodways-repco-recollections-episode-3/

Photo Credits…

Jesse Alexander Archive, David Phipps, GP Library

Tailpiece…

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Nice Stewart BRM P261 cockpit shot en-route to victory (GP Library)

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Jackie Stewart’s BRM P261 is pushed onto the Longford grid by Jimmy Collins and Stan Collier on 5 March 1966…

The race is the ‘Launceston Examiner Trophy’, the preliminary Longford Tasman round race, Jackie is being pushed into ‘pole’. Jackie won the main race, the ‘South Pacific Trophy’ on the Saturday from his teammate Graham Hill and Jack’s Brabham BT19 Repco, the new ‘620 Series’ V8, 2.5 litres in Tasman spec having its third race gearing up for his successful world championship assault that year.

For the BRM boys it would be a more character building year, mind you, Jackie took a great Monaco GP win in his nimble 2.1 litre P261 against the new 3 litre GP cars…

Credits…

Spencer Lambert, Doug Nye, Ray Bell, Tasmanian Motorist Magazine

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The ‘Stack Pipe’ 1.5 litre P56 BRM V8 nestled in one of Graham Hill’s BRM P57/578 chassis’ during his and BRM’s victorious 1962 season…

This series of engines was immensely successful being competitive throughout the 1961-5 1.5 Litre F1 and was ‘stiff’ not to have won the title on multiple occasions. Later in its life it became, in 2 and 2.1 litre capacities an effective Tasman Series weapon. It was victorious at 2.1 litres against new 3 litre cars winning the ’66 Monaco GP Jackie for Stewart that May. It is one of Grand Prix racing’s great engines.

This is the first in an occasional series of articles focussing on engines, mind you, as usual its longer than intended. As is the case with most of my stuff the article is a function of a great photo (above) inspiring the piece rather than me thinking strategically about the relative merit of one engine to another in a particular era!

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Graham Hill’s P56 engined ‘Stackpipe’ BRM P57/578 on its way to victory at Zandvoort, Dutch GP 1962. The P56 engine’s first championship GP win (Cahier)

Background…

BRM commenced the new 1.5 litre F1 in 1961 by using a Coventry Climax FPF Mark 2 engine, it’s ‘Project 56’ 1.5 litre V8 started late and was running behind schedule.

The teams long serving but ‘too dilettante’ technical director Peter Berthon was ‘shunted sideways’, seconded to work at the Harry Weslake Research consultancy in Rye, 280 km away leaving Tony Rudd, his assistant in charge.

By the time this 1960 Dutch GP change was effected Berthon, with the assistance of consultant engineer Charles Amherst Villiers an old school friend of BRM founder Raymond Mays and a long term associate of Berthons too, was already laying down the conceptual design and detailing of P56. The Shell oil companies research boffins also contributed their knowledge via a project they were completing at the time on ‘combustion in high speed transport engines’.

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The great Tony Rudd in the glasses overseeing Graham Hill’s P56 engined BRM P57 (DNF) with Cyril Atkins beside him. Dutch GP, Zandvoort 1963. Its Jack Brabham in the helmet about to board his BT7 Climax DNF. I wonder if the chap closest to camera is Keith Duckworth? The back of that BRM is ‘all breathers’, engine and gearbox isn’t it? Clark won the race in his Lotus 25 Climax (GP Library)

A core conceptual design foundation was efficiency at extremely high RPM by the standards of the time, and, for the first time for BRM the engine was to be offered for customer sale rather than just being a ‘works engine’. There was money to be made, as Coventry Climax had proved in recent years by flogging engines to those with the ‘readies’, at Sir Alfred Owen’s insistence BRM were to contest that customer market.

In keeping with the BRM charter of using British suppliers if at all possible, Lucas’ new fuel injection system was chosen. Several design features of the old V16 were used including its timing gear, camshaft drives and similar con-rods, higher inertia loads of heavier pistons (than the V16) involved different big-end bolt arrangements though.

The engine is a 90 degree V8 with a bore and stroke of 68.1 X 50.88mm for a capacity of 1498cc, it’s heads and block cast in LM8 aluminium alloy. The sump was magnesium and the crank machined from nitrided EN40U alloy steel and ran in 5 Vandervell, 2.5 inch wide plain metal bearings.

The cams, water pump and distributor for the transistorised ignition system were driven by gears off the cranks nose.

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P56 engine cross section showing gear train, ‘inverted cup tappets, which allowed cooling oil to reach valve springs. Exhaust valve guides in contact with water’. 90 degree V8, 2 valves per cylinder. First series cross-flow head engine (grandprixengines.co.uk)

Two ring die-cast pistons and forged con-rods were used initially but forged pistons with a different profile were experimented with later in the successful search for more power. Results justified Berthon’s original concept of minimising rotating and reciprocating mass with a very ‘over-square’ bore/stroke ratio by the standards of the day to facilitate high RPM.

Up top the four cams ran in 5 roller bearings operating 2 inclined valves per cylinder via inverted tappets. Valve sizes were 1.5625 inch inlet set at 45 degrees from the bore axis, and 1.20 inch exhaust set at 30 degrees. Double valve springs were used and proved effective even at 11000rpm, the valve-gear was designed for a maximum of 13000rpm.

The Lucas new fuel injection system was of the port type, throttle slides were used after early butterfly throttles were tried and rejected. The compression ratio using mandated 100 octane fuel was 11.5:1. The fuel injected works engines claimed 10bhp more than the Weber carbed customer units in the first year. The metering unit was driven by a toothed rubber belt.

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P56 V8 again 1962 first series cross-flow, 2 valve heads. 2 plane crank (grandprixengines.co.uk)

Lucas also provided the transistorised ignition system made necessary by 11000 rpm; a conventional coil setup produced around 400 sparks per second, a magneto 500 whereas the BRM needed 733 sparks per second at 11000 rpm, which the Lucas transistors achieved.

Ignition timing was controlled by pole pieces mounted on the back of the flywheel in conjunction with a magnetic pick-up on the engine backplate. Current was provided by an alternator driven from the right-side inlet cam.

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P56 in Trevor Taylor’s BRP Mk2 BRM, Belgian GP, Spa 1964. 7th in the race won by Clark’s Lotus 25 Climax (Schlegelmilch)

The prototype P56 engine ‘5601’ was assembled at Bourne in June 1961, without starter motor weighing 251 pounds, on 12 July in the Folkingham Aerodrome test house it first burst into life.

A second engine was built and run at Monza, in practice only in 1961. That engine ‘5602’ produced over 184bhp. During 1962 maximum power was 193bhp@10250rpm, the engines dyno curves showed 110@6000, 150@7500, 173@9000 and 190bhp@9750rpm.

At Monza in 1962, Hills victorious P578’s P56 engine achieved 10.6 MPG.

Graham Hill’s 1962 season is briefly covered in this article, click here for the link; https://primotipo.com/2014/10/12/graham-hill-brm-p57-german-gp-1962/

Initially the engines were fitted with separate individual megaphone exhausts raking back at near to vertical on each side but they fatigued during a race and progressively broke. A low level system made its debut at Spa in 1962 but by then the ‘Stackpipe BRM’ label had stuck!

A cross-over exhaust and ‘flat plane crankshaft’ liberated a bit more power as did new Shell low viscosity oils, by February 1963 the works engines gave 200bhp from 9750-10500rpm.

Four valve heads were tried for 1964 but ‘flopped fearfully’. Reversed port two valve heads and between the Vee exhausts at the Italian GP provided 208bhp @10750rpm.

Eventually by filling combustion chambers with weld and re-machining, trial and error stuff engine ‘5618’ produced 220bhp@11750rpm this engine was used by Hill at the 1965 BRDC Trophy and became his regular engine thereafter ‘maxing’ at 222bhp.

For the sake of completeness the ‘P56 engine family’ also includes the P60 used in various capacities for 2 litre sportscar, endurance, Tasman and hillclimbing competition as follows;
1965/6 1880cc, 1966 1916cc, 1966-7 1998cc and 1966-8 2070cc.

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Jackie Stewart heads for the BRM P56 engines last championship GP win in his P261, 22 May 1966 Monaco. He won from Lorenzo Bandini’s Ferrari Dino 246 and teammate Graham Hill’s P261. Majestic Monaco. The BRM P261 was an exquisite, successful, long lived car. It was slippery and quick partially due to power but also the small, beautifully ‘packaged’ engine, its between the Vee exhausts and compact ancillaries allowing the rear cowling which helped it slip thru the air (Schlegelmilch)

Race Record…

The P56 and its big P60 brother was a remarkably long-lived engine at International level, let alone its national level wins.

The engines first International win was in the rear of Graham Hill’s BRM P57 in the 1962 Brussells GP on 1 April, its first Championship GP win the Dutch on 20 May 1962, its last Jackie Stewarts 1966 Monaco GP victory in 1966 amongst the new 3 litre GP cars. Jackie Stewart also scored the engines last International win in taking the Australian GP at Warwick Farm on 19 February 1967 in his BRM P261.

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This is the butt of Jackie Stewart’s BRM P261 ‘2614’ pictured in the Warwick Farm paddock on 19 February 1967, the engines last International win. JYS won the AG Prix  from Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax FWMV V8 and Frank Gardner’s Brabham BT16 Climax FPF. P60 engine now at 2070cc, the ‘weak link’ of the car by then the transmission which was struggling with power and torque for which it was not originally designed in 1.5 litre GP spec  (Mike Feisst)

The engines final entry as a ‘works engine’ was in the back of Pedro Rodriguez’ P261 at the Longford Tasman round in March 1968, he was second to Piers Courage McLaren M4A FVA.

During that period the engine won the ’62 Drivers and Constructors titles with Hill. Hill/BRM were second in both the drivers and constructors titles in ’63 to Clark/Lotus in ’64 to Surtees/Ferrari and in ’65 to Clark/Lotus. The BRM P261 won the 1966 Tasman Championship for Jackie Stewart in a dominant display, BRM won 7 of the 8 rounds.

For the sake of completeness the wins for the engine, note that i have not included heat wins in Non-Championship events, only ‘Finals’ are as below, what comes through strongly is just how much Hill.G’s career was intermixed with this engine and how smart it was to sell engines to ‘all-comers’;

1962;

Championship; Dutch, German and Italian GP’s , all Hill in BRM P57 chassis

Non-Championship; GP Brussells, Glover Trophy Goodwood, Intl Trophy Silverstone all Hill BRM P57, Crystal Palace Trophy Innes Ireland Lotus 24 BRM, Kanonloppet Karlskoga Masten Gregory Lotus 24 BRM

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Piers Courage, BRM P261, ‘Teretonga International’, the most Southerly race circuit in the world. NZ Tasman 28 January 1967. Piers DNF engine in the race won by Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax, teammate Richard Attwood was 2nd in the other BRM (Ian Peak)

1963;

Championship; South African, Monaco and US GP’s all Hill BRM P57

Non-Championship; Int Trophy and Aintree 200 both Hill BRM P57, Glover Trophy Ireland Lotus 24 BRM, GP Siracuse Siffert Lotus 24 BRM

1964;

Championship; Monaco and US GP’s both Hill in BRM P261

Non-Championship; Daily Mirror Trophy Ireland BRP BRM, GP Mediterraneo Enna Siffert Brabham BT11 BRM, Rand GP Natal Hill Brabham BT11 BRM

1965;

Championship; Monaco and US GP’s Hill, Italian GP Stewart all BRM P261

Non-Championship; Int Trophy Stewart BRM P261, GP Mediterraneo Siffert Brabham BT11 BRM

1966;

Championship; Monaco GP Stewart BRM P261

Tasman; Pukekohe NZGP and Lakeside AGP Hill and Wigram, Teretonga, Sandown and Longford rounds, Stewart all in BRM P261

1967;

Tasman: Pukekohe NZGP and Warwick Farm AGP both Stewart in BRM P261

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Relaxed scene at Longford on the 5 March 1967 Tasman weekend. JYS on the wheel of P261 ‘2614’, Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax alongside. #9 is Spencer Martin’s Brabham BT11A Climax with his car owner Bob Jane the stocky little dude in the drivers suit beside JYS. Nose of Chris Irwin’s P261 ‘2616’ also clear. On raceday Jack Brabham’s BT23A Repco won the ‘South Pacific Trophy’ from Clark and Irwin (Ellis French)

Etcetera…

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BRM P60 power at the Lakeside, Australian Grand Prix Tasman round on 20 February 1966. JYS and Graham lead in BRM P261’s, Clark in Lotus 39 Climax, Gardner’s yellow nosed Brabham BT11A Climax, Jim Palmer’s Lotus 32B Climax, Spencer Martin’s red Brabham BT11A, Leo Geoghegan’s white Lotus 32 Ford 1.5 and the rest. Hill won from Gardner and Clark (History of The AGP)

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Graham Hill’s BRM P60 engined Lotus 33 at the 29 April 1967, BRDC Intl Trophy Silverstone. That’s Damon practicing in cockpit! DNF but fastest lap, the race won by Mike Parkes 3 litre Ferrari 312. Graham had just left BRM for Lotus for the ’67 season but not the P56/60 engine which gave him so much success! Lotus’ engine of choice for ’66 was the BRM H16 but Chapman used the V8’s as a stopgap, the H16 running late; Chapmans Lotus 33’s comprised a 2 Litre Climax engined chassis for Clark and 2070cc P60 BRM engined one for Graham (Getty)

Bibliography…

The bibles on all things BRM are Doug Nyes 3 books, hopefully Vol 4 is not too far away! This article is a précis of Nye’s article on the P56 engine in his seminal, sensational ‘History of the GP Car 1945-65’

Photo Credits…

Rainer Schlegelmilch, The GP Library, Cahier Archive, Ellis French, Mike Feisst Collection & Ian Peak Collection/The Roaring Season, G Howard and Ors ‘History of The Australian GP’, grandprixengines.co.uk

Tailpiece: ‘Top Fuel’ Dragster…

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Trevor Taylor’s BRP Mk2 BRM and its P56 V8, Spa 1964. He was 7th, race won by Clark’s Lotus 25 Climax. Interesting that the ‘stackpipe’ exhausts were still being used by BRP this late when the low level exhausts were producing more power (Schlegelmilch)

Finito…